Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Bath of Ice Water: Committing to My Dream Day

"Tomorrow, I'm going to use my Dream Day as a schedule template."

At this month's Live Your Legend Local (LYLL) meeting, I brought up the concept of the Dream Day. I'd heard about how your Dream Day is part of your personal brand on the Being Boss podcast.* The exercise is to describe what your ideal day looks like, from the time you wake up to the time you wrap your wings around you as you hang upside down from a cave overhead. Or put your head on a pillow...however you sleep. 

I found it surprisingly difficult to answer:

What would my Dream Day look like?

So I rephrased the question:

What daily habits would help me accomplish my long-term goals?
What daily habits would help keep me healthy and active?
What daily habits would bring the most meaning and art to my life?

I made a calendar called 'Dream Day' to help me visualize it. 

Dream Day Schedule, Google Calendar
(WIP. Definitely need a better word than "Grooming.")
Dream Day Schedule, Google Calendar

My daily life now looks nothing like my Dream Day. It looks more like this:

Exaggerated Actual Day, Google Calendar

How to Make the Dream Day Real

Jim's Idea: Jim, another LYLL participant, likened a major change like this to taking a bath in ice water. If you just stick your toe in, the chill might shoot you back and you'll never come near the stuff again. Better to commit to all of it. It's frikkin cold at first, but then you're in and it actually starts to feel warm.

Lorraine's Idea: The marathon method. Commit to one small change until you've mastered it. Repeat. She got into a solid routine for herself this way.

Before I could pick a method, I had to address a very important point everyone in the group touched on:

There's nothing wrong with my habits now.

I've never maintained a schedule like my Dream Day calendar's. However, I have met all the goals I've set for myself lately. So it looks like having a strict schedule is not essential to my success. I do the best I can with the resources available to me at any moment, so I can't assume MORE and BETTER will suddenly appear because an alarm clock goes off.

It's likely that the Dream Day, at least in schedule format, is an over-correction, forcing someone else's definition of 'a day well spent' onto myself.

But here's what I want:
1. To get sick less frequently
2. To have more energy
3. To produce more creative content
4. To find my tribe and build community

Based on what I know about metabolism science and the immune system, (which is admittedly minimal), 1. and 2. will improve with regulated sleep and eating, so:

I just gotta try it.

I'm gonna commit fully to the routine, like submerging in an ice bath, but get there by moving my schedule up one hour a day. The point is to have more energy so it doesn't make sense to wake up 4 hours earlier all of a sudden.

I'll also allow for a lot of self-forgiveness if the transition is bumpy.

*The Being Boss Podcast hosts literally only mentioned Dream Day + Branding and I ran with it. I'm not sure how they definite it or approach the topic with their clients. Maybe I'll message them to find out.

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